April 16, 2009
John Dorroh - [email protected]
Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to throw in the towel, quit, and tell your boss what you really thought? We all have.
What do you do when that happens? Chew out your best friend or family member? Take it out on the family pet? Drive erratically, dodging trees, fences, and traffic signs? Go play racquetball or shoot some hoops? Maybe take a long soak in the hot tub?
Downtown Columbus has a new place for you to go and just forget about it. Located on Fifth Street in the old DC Music store, Fuhgetaboutit is the newest kid on the block.
Fuhgetaboutit owner and proud papa, Freddie Fields, has added yet another option for area residents who want and need alternative places to hang out.
Fields, a native Columbian, worked for years at Kerr McGee in Hamilton and was offered a superintendent position at a similar plant up north.
"I just really didn''t want to go," he said. "So I didn''t. ... Instead I took over the Golden Horn in 1985 after running the Country Store on Highway 45 South."
The Golden Horn had been in business since 1969 and was well-established as a prime paradise for steak lovers. It still is.
One of my racquetball opponents, Lillie Kelly, and her husband Steve, go there on a regular basis to take out-of-town business guests and friends.
Even though business is very good at Golden Horn, Fields said he wanted a new adventure. At first he thought about doing something near the Golden Horn, but it made more sense to go downtown where it''s more accessible, more secure.
"I bought a building with the idea of providing a venue for blues musicians," he said.
"I''ve been to Ground Zero several times and have met a lot of people over there who said that they would like to play in Columbus. So now they can. We''ll be booking some of them soon," he said.
Fields also pointed out that he''s not really into booking big bands since Fuhgetaboutit is not meant for that.
"I want it to be a place where I can go and relax, unwind, and be entertained. ... It''s really for an older crowd, but everyone is welcome," he said.
"I like classic rewind," he said, "and the artists and groups who I hire will have to be able to play the kind of music that I want. No one is forcing anyone to come inside.
"I also have a loft apartment, fully furnished upstairs that I can rent with the corporate world in mind. Get in touch with me for details," he said.
The inside story ...
I ventured into Fuhgetaboutit a few weeks ago on the Monday evening the Columbus Pilgrimage opened. After listening to the band that played jazz and blues on the lawn beside the visitor''s center and eating catfish plates, several of us ventured down to Fifth Street on Lee Hackett''s recommendation.
The first thing I noticed was it is a "deep" building rather than wide. Small two-person booths are attached to the side wall, which is made of old light-colored speckled bricks. Columbus memorabilia was everywhere, even on the ceiling. Old photographs and newspaper stories took me back to when I was a pesky kid.
"My son, John Fields, a dentist in Greenwood, did all the decorating for me," said Fields.
A comfortable chair, which rolls easily on the beautiful wood floors, had my name written on it. And food!
Got an appetite?
There is nothing fried on the menu at Fuhgetaboutit. Imagine that!
"Everything we have is relatively easy to prepare and quick," said Fields.
I was assaulted with the aroma of toasted garlic bread as the sign that read "TAMALES" made me want to peer into the kitchen and ask questions.
The tamales will be conceived and born in Greenwood and will be delivered, hopefully, a few times a week, once the deal is sealed.
And there is gumbo, red beans and rice, turkey melts, muffalettas and other tasty treats, all made from scratch.
"Fuhgetaboutit is a good safe place to come to relax, have a snack and your favorite beverage, and eventually hear some blues. Parking is abundant, and it just feels good to be in downtown Columbus where things seem to be alive," said Fields.
Fuhgetaboutit is located at 114 Fifth St. N., between Main Street Café and Huck''s Place. The old black-and-white DC Music sign is still there so you can look for it.
Permanent hours are still being determined, but currently they are from 3 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., Monday-Saturday. They open at 4 p.m. on Sundays.
John Dorroh is a semi-retired high school science teacher, who writes a business column for The Dispatch.